Sweden Facts

Below follow a presentation of important facts about Sweden. You can scroll or click your level of interest.


 Intro  Geography  People   Government   Economy    Communications  Transportation   Military

 
 Map of Sweden

INTRODUCTION - SWEDEN

Background:  
A military power during the 17th century, Sweden has not participated in any war in almost two centuries. An armed neutrality was preserved in both World Wars. Sweden's long-successful economic formula of a capitalist system interlarded with substantial welfare elements was challenged in the 1990s by high unemployment and in 2000-02 by the global economic downturn, but fiscal discipline over the past several years has allowed the country to weather economic vagaries. Indecision over the country's role in the political and economic integration of Europe delayed Sweden's entry into the EU until 1995, and waived the introduction of the euro in 1999.

Top of page

GEOGRAPHY - SWEDEN

Location:  
Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, Kattegat, and Skagerrak, between Finland and Norway 
Geographic coordinates:  
62 00 N, 15 00 E 
Map references:  
Europe 
Area:   
total: 449,964 sq km
land: 410,934 sq km
water: 39,030 sq km 
Area - comparative:  
slightly larger than California 
Land boundaries:  
total: 2,233 km
border countries: Finland 614 km, Norway 1,619 km 
Coastline:  
3,218 km 
Maritime claims:  
territorial sea: 12 nm (adjustments made to return a portion of straits to high seas)
exclusive economic zone: agreed boundaries or midlines
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation 
Climate:  
temperate in south with cold, cloudy winters and cool, partly cloudy summers; subarctic in north 
Terrain:  
mostly flat or gently rolling lowlands; mountains in west 
Elevation extremes:  
lowest point: reclaimed bay of Lake Hammarsjon, near Kristianstad -2.41 m
highest point: Kebnekaise 2,111 m 
Natural resources:  
iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, gold, silver, tungsten, uranium, arsenic, feldspar, timber, hydropower 
Land use:  
arable land: 6.54%
permanent crops: 0.01%
other: 93.45% (2001) 
Irrigated land:  
1,150 sq km (1998 est.) 
Natural hazards:  
ice floes in the surrounding waters, especially in the Gulf of Bothnia, can interfere with maritime traffic 
Environment - current issues:  
acid rain damage to soils and lakes; pollution of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea 
Environment - international agreements:  
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements 
Geography - note:  
strategic location along Danish Straits linking Baltic and North Seas 



Top of page

PEOPLE - SWEDEN

Population:   
9,074,055 (July 2010 est.) 
Age structure:  
0-14 years: 15.7% (male 733,597/female 692,194)
15-64 years: 65.5% (male 3,003,358/female 2,927,038)
65 years and over: 18.8% (male 753,293/female 950,171) (2010 est.)
Median age:  
total: 41.7 years
male: 40.6 years
female: 42.9 years (2010 est.)
Population growth rate:  
0.16% (2010 est.)
Birth rate:   
10.14 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
Death rate:   
10.2 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
Net migration rate:  
1.65 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.)
Sex ratio:  
at birth: 1.061 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2010 est.)
Infant mortality rate:   
total: 2.74 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 2.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 2.57 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:   
total population: 80.97 years
male: 78.69 years 
female: 82.4 years (2010 est.) 
Total fertility rate:   
1.67 children born/woman (2010 est.) 
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:   
0.1% (2007 est.) 
Nationality:  
noun: Swede(s)
adjective: Swedish 
Ethnic groups:  
indigenous population: Swedes and Finnish and Sami minorities; foreign-born or first-generation immigrants: Finns, Yugoslavs, Danes, Norwegians, Greeks, Turks 
Religions:  
Lutheran 87%, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist 
Languages:  
Swedish, small Sami- and Finnish-speaking minorities 
Literacy:  
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99%   (2008) 

 

Top of page

GOVERNMENT - SWEDEN

Country name:  
conventional long form: Kingdom of Sweden
conventional short form: Sweden
local long form: Konungariket Sverige
local short form: Sverige 
Government type:  
constitutional monarchy 
Capital:  
Stockholm 
Administrative divisions:  
21 counties (lan, singular and plural); Blekinge, Dalarnas, Gavleborgs, Gotlands, Hallands, Jamtlands, Jonkopings, Kalmar, Kronobergs, Norrbottens, Orebro, Ostergotlands, Skane, Sodermanlands, Stockholms, Uppsala, Varmlands, Vasterbottens, Vasternorrlands, Vastmanlands, Vastra Gotalands 
Independence:  
6 June 1523 (Gustav VASA elected king) 
National holiday:  
Flag Day, 6 June 
Constitution:  
1 January 1975 
Legal system:  
civil law system influenced by customary law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations 
Suffrage:  
18 years of age; universal 
Executive branch:  
chief of state: King CARL XVI GUSTAF (since 19 September 1973); Heir Apparent Princess VICTORIA Ingrid Alice Desiree, daughter of the monarch (born 14 July 1977)
head of government: Prime Minister FREDRIK REINFELDT (since September 2006)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister
elections: the monarchy is hereditary; following legislative elections, the prime minister is elected by the parliament; election last held 19 September 2010 
election results: FREDRIK REINFELDT elected prime minister
Legislative branch:  
unicameral Parliament or Riksdag (349 seats; members are elected by popular vote on a proportional representation basis to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 17 September 2006
election results: percent of vote by party - Social Democrats 30.7%, Moderates 30.1%, Greens 7.3%, Liberal People's Party 7.1%, Center Party 6.6%, Sweden Democrats 5.7%, Christian Democrats 5.6%, Left Party 5.6%; seats by party - Social Democrats 112, Moderates 107, Greens 25, Liberal People's Party 24, Center Party 23, Sweden Democrats 20, Christian Democrats 19, Left Party 19

Judicial branch:  
Supreme Court or Hogsta Domstolen (judges are appointed by the prime minister and the cabinet) 
Political parties and leaders:  
Center Party [Maud OLOFSSON]; Christian Democratic Party [Goran HAGGLUND]; Environment Party the Greens [no formal leader but party spokespersons are Maria WETTERSTRAND and Peter ERIKSSON]; Left Party or V (formerly Communist) [Lars OHLY]; Liberal People's Party [Jan BJORKLUND]; Moderate Party (liberal-conservative) [Fredrik REINFELDT]; Social Democratic Party [Mona SAHLIN]; Sweden Democrats [Jimmie AKESSON]
Political pressure groups and leaders:  
NA 
International organization participation:  
ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council, Australia Group, BIS, CBSS, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-9, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINURCAT, MONUC, NC, NEA, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PFP, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMOGIP, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:  
chief of mission: Ambassador Jonas HAFSTROM
chancery: The House of Sweden, 2900 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 467-2600
FAX: [1] (202) 467-2699
consulate(s) general: New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:  
chief of mission: Ambassador Matthew W. BARZUN
embassy: Dag Hammarskjolds Vag 31, SE-11589 Stockholm
mailing address: American Embassy Stockholm, US Department of State, 5750 Stockholm Place, Washington, DC 20521-5750
telephone: [46] (08) 783 53 00
FAX: [46] (08) 661 19 64
Flag description:  
blue with a golden yellow cross extending to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side in the style of the Dannebrog (Danish flag) 

Top of page 

ECONOMY - SWEDEN

Economy - overview:  
Aided by peace and neutrality for the whole of the 20th century, Sweden has achieved an enviable standard of living under a mixed system of high-tech capitalism and extensive welfare benefits. It has a modern distribution system, excellent internal and external communications, and a skilled labor force. In September 2003, Swedish voters turned down entry into the euro system concerned about the impact on the economy and sovereignty. Timber, hydropower, and iron ore constitute the resource base of an economy heavily oriented toward foreign trade. Privately owned firms account for about 90% of industrial output, of which the engineering sector accounts for 50% of output and exports. Agriculture accounts for little more than 1% of GDP and of employment. Until 2008, Sweden was in the midst of a sustained economic upswing, boosted by increased domestic demand and strong exports. This and robust finances offered the center-right government considerable scope to implement its reform program aimed at increasing employment, reducing welfare dependence, and streamlining the state's role in the economy. Despite strong finances and underlying fundamentals, the Swedish economy slid into recession in the third quarter of 2008 and growth continued downward in the first half of 2009 as deteriorating global conditions reduced export demand and consumption

GDP (purchasing power parity):   
$335.1 billion (2009 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):   
$406.1 billion (2009 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:   
-5.1% (2009 est.)
3.4% (2007) 
GDP - per capita (PPP):   
$37,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 29
$39,000 (2008 est.)
$39,300 (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars
 
GDP - composition by sector:   
agriculture: 1.7%
industry: 25.1%
services: 73.1% (2009 est.)
 
Labor force:   
4.907 million (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76 
 
Labor force - by occupation:   
agriculture: 1.1%
industry: 28.2%
services: 70.7% (2008 est.)
 
Unemployment rate:   
8.3% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 96
6.2% (2008 est.) 
  
 
Distribution of family income - Gini index:   
23 (2005)
country comparison to the world: 134
25 (1992)
 
Investment (gross fixed):   
17.9% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113 
 
Budget:   
revenues: $223 billion
expenditures: $227.5 billion (2009 est.)
 
Public debt:   
41.6% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62
37.6% of GDP (2008 est.)

Agriculture - products:  
barley, wheat, sugar beets; meat, milk 

Industries:
  
iron and steel, precision equipment (bearings, radio and telephone parts, armaments), wood pulp and paper products, processed foods, motor vehicles
Industrial production growth rate:   
-13.5% (2009 est.)
3.3% (2005)  
   
Exports:   
$133.3 billion (2009 est.)
Exports - partners:  
Norway 10.61%, Germany 10.2%, UK 7.45%, Denmark 7.35%, Finland 6.44%, US 6.36%, France 5.05%, Netherlands 4.67% (2009)
Imports:   
$120.5 billion (2009 est.)
 
Imports - partners:  
Germany 17.9%, Denmark 8.9%, Norway 8.7%, Netherlands 6.17%, UK 5.56%, Finland 5.14%, France 5.06%, China 4.79% (2009)
 
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:   
$47.29 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Debt - external:   
$669.1 billion (30 June 2009)
Currency (code):  
Swedish krona (SEK) 
Exchange rates:  
Swedish kronor (SEK) per US dollar - 7.821 (2009), 6.4074 (2008), 6.7629 (2007), 7.3731 (2006), 7.4731 (2005)
Fiscal year:  
calendar year 

Top of page 

COMMUNICATIONS - SWEDEN

Telephones - main lines in use:   
5.323 million (2008)
Telephones - mobile cellular:   
10.988 million (2008)

Telephone system:  
general assessment: highly developed  system telecommunications infrastructure; ranked among leading countries for fixed-line, mobile-cellular, Internet and broadband penetration

domestic: coaxial and multiconductor cables carry most of the voice traffic; parallel microwave radio relay systems carry some additional telephone channels

international: country code - 46; submarine cables provide links to other Nordic countries and Europe; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean), 1 Eutelsat, and 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions); note - Sweden shares the Inmarsat earth station with the other Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Norway)

Television broadcast stations:  
publicly-owned television broadcaster operates 2 terrestrial networks plus regional stations; multiple privately-owned television broadcasters operating nationally, regionally, and locally; about 50 local TV stations; widespread access to pan-Nordic and international broadcasters through multi-channel cable and satellite TV systems; publicly-owned radio broadcaster operates 3 national stations and a network of 25 regional channels; nearly a hundred privately-owned local radio stations with some consolidating into near national networks; an estimated 900 community and neighborhood radio stations broadcast intermittently (2008)
Internet country code: .se 
Internet hosts:
4.396 million (2010)
Internet users:  
8.1 million (2008)

Top of page 

TRANSPORTATION - SWEDEN

Airports:   
249 (2010)
Airports - with paved runways: 
total: 152
Airports - with unpaved runways:  
total: 97  
Heliports:  
2 (2010) 
Pipelines:  
gas 798 km (2004) 
Railways:   
total: 11,633 km
standard gauge: 11,481 km 1.435-m gauge (9,400 km electrified) (2004) 
Roadways:   
total: 572,900 km (includes 1,855 km of expressways)
Merchant marine:   
total: 163
Ports and terminals:
Brofjorden, Goteborg, Helsingborg, Karlshamn, Lulea, Malmo, Stockholm, Trelleborg, Visby


Top of page 


MILITARY - SWEDEN

Military branches: 
Swedish Armed Forces (Forsvarsmakten): Army (Armen), Royal Swedish Navy (Marinen), Swedish Air Force (Svenska Flygvapnet) (2010)

Military service age and obligation:  
18-47 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; service obligation: 7.5 months (Army), 7-15 months (Navy), 8-12 months (Air Force); the Swedish Parliament has abolished compulsory military service, with exclusively voluntary recruitment as of July 2010; conscription remains an option in emergencies; after

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:   
1.5%of GDP (2005) 


Top of page 
 


Source: CIA Factbook